Black Moon


Black Moon

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,052
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Black Moon Photos

Movie Info

In Louis Malle's apocalyptic fantasy Black Moon, Lily (Cathryn Harrison, granddaughter of Rex) drives down a lonesome road, and soon finds herself in a alternate world full of non sequiturs and bizarre characters. At times, this looks like a David Lynch film, what with an old woman conversing with a rat, a pack of naked children chasing a pig, a talking unicorn, a strange set of possibly incestuous siblings (one of whom is "underground" film star Joe Dallesandro), and several other warped set pieces. Malle reportedly culled inspiration for the narrative of this film from his own dreams. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Therese Giehse
as The Old Woman/The Unicorn

Critic Reviews for Black Moon

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (5)

  • There is an order to this film, but we must supply it, each according to his needs.

    Jun 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • Malle offers no explanation for his heroine's visionary odyssey through a world in which all history runs parallel with all realities. Yet a logic is there, even if its reference point is jabberwocky.

    Jun 23, 2007

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Fans for such a film need insight more than sundry freakout moments.

    Sep 27, 2011 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…
  • Some critics described Black Moon as a sort of darker Alice in Wonderland, but it's much too tedious to approach that level of entertainment.

    Sep 9, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • its outlandish and nonsensical detours begin to feel less like the "automatic writing" of the surrealists and more like a series of meandering, meaningless head games, each melting into the next with no lasting impact.

    Jul 21, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Is there a single film that combines genocide, a talking unicorn, and breast feeding?... Yes!

    Jun 28, 2011 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Moon

  • Nov 05, 2011
    There is a lot of surreal, opaque imagery and many mind games with no chance at winning. This is the crazy French movie, 'Black Moon', by Louis Malle who teams up with genius Sven Nykvist, which results in a visual fairytale like 'Alice In Wonderland' for the art crowd, for lack of better comparisons. It was hard to let 'Black Moon' end, I was in awe of the elegance of the picturesque images Nykvist makes sure are perfect with every frame with muted colors, tracking shots with a nitrous boost (well one shot, anyway), close-ups, and of course lighting and compositions to rewind for - this movie's visuals are superlative. 'Black Moon' is in the tradition of Bunuel so naturally it's not for everyone. I loved it - it still has me asking questions and the images will not be leaving my head anytime soon.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    Black Moon is the theatrical realization of an apocalyptic dream conceived by Louis Malle featuring the most bizarre: a war, a senile woman, a bevy of naked children, and a unicorn. A surreal escape. Eccentric.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2011
    Louis Malle's most abstract and interpretive work is one that while not understood at the time, wait until you see the film, has garnered attention more recently. Going in to this film you have to turn off that notion of following a direct plot line and logic because the film is most simply an experience. Malle says, as noted in the booklet accompanying the Criterion edition " Each time something appeared that looked like a plotline, I would cross it out." This direction means that you are watching not so much a normal paced film but a series of events that the mind can interpret in a variety of ways, quite diversely I may add as the film is filled to the brim with symbolism. All this being said the film is wonderfully shot and handled with dedication and respect and is no doubt a Malle work. The supplementary features which are unfortunately quite short for a Criterion especially, add great insight into the film. Malle says that it is absurd to ask a director the meaning behind the piece and that cinema is the worst when it comes to the scrutiny people force upon the creators. He basically leaves it to the viewer to decide what it means for them, and that is perfectly stated and true. I can't recommend this for most, but if you are like me and appreciate the obscure and abstract it is one worth watching!
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2011
    A young woman flees a shooting war between the sexes and holes up at a farmhouse with a bedridden old woman, a brother and sister both named "Lily," a bunch of naked children, and a unicorn. Pure surrealism is hard to pull off at feature length (even Bunuel and Lynch rarely attempted it). Louis Malle proves not to be up to the challenge, either, though there are some good individual moments (who wouldn't love the unicorn)?
    Greg S Super Reviewer

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